An an ugly, unprecedented incident in Thursday’s night’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was shoved by a man at courtside, and the man doing the shoving turned out to be Mark Stevens, a minority owner in the home team, the Golden State Warriors.
Per ESPN, the incident took place early in the game’s fourth quarter, as Lowry dove for a loose ball. The man later identified as Stevens shoved Lowry and also directed expletives toward him. Stevens was ejected from the arena after the incident, and was later identified in media reports as a minority owner of the Warriors.
Immediately after the game, the Warriors announced that Stevens would not attend any Warriors games for the remainder of the playoffs. Not long after, per ESPN, the NBA announced that Stevens would be banned for one year and fined $500,000.
Stevens issued a statement Thursday night apologizing to Lowry and to both teams.
“What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it. Mr. Lowry deserves better,” he added.
Meanwhile, NBC News’s Dylan Byers, citing “multiple sources close to the Golden State Warriors,” reported that Stevens will likely be forced to sell his stake in the team as a result of the incident. The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, forced a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 after their then-owner, Donald Sterling, was caught on tape making racist comments.
SCOOP: Mark Stevens, the person who pushed Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry at last night's NBA Finals game, is not just any fan, but venture capitalist — and part Warriors owner, multiple sources confirmed to Axios.https://t.co/UL5SqKZc7u— Axios (@axios) June 6, 2019
Stevens, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who worked alongside the Warriors’ primary owner, Joe Lacob, at Sequoia Capital, has been a part owner of the Warriors since 2013, although it’s unclear what percentage of the team he owns. Per journalist Darren Rovell on Twitter, the Warriors franchise has appreciated in value by a multiple of 4.5 percent since the current owners bought the team six years ago.
The shove of Lowry by Stevens was not the only controversial event during Game 3 that involved a Warriors owner. Per The Inquisitr, Jay-Z and Beyonce were seated at courtside at the game as the guests of Lacob and his wife, Nicole Curran.
When Curran was speaking to Jay-Z, Beyonce’s made a facial expression in reaction. It was interpreted in a certain way, and the exchange quickly went viral. Curran says she received threats, insults, and bee emojis from fans of Beyonce. Curran says she was taking the famous couple’s drink order and had leaned in close because of noise in the arena. Curran, as of Thursday night, had deleted her Instagram account.